Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Al Rose
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Rebels fight but fall to Hawks


Jennifer Szczyrbak

Moose Lake/Willow River Rebel freshman Danny Lilya, a paraplegic, gets in the middle of the action near the end of Thursday's football game against Hermantown.

The Class AA Moose Lake/Willow River Rebels fought to hang with the Class AAAA and fifth-ranked Hermantown Hawks but fell 59-32 in Willow River on Thursday, October 8. The Hawks finished their regular season undefeated with an 8-0 record while MLWR closed at 5-3.

Thomas Madison ran for 281 and had four TDs, a pair of conversion runs and tossed a conversion pass to lead the Hawks. Christian Comstock had a TD run and intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown. James Lindberg had two touchdown runs. Nick Bostrom ran for a pair of conversions. Cody McShane was 3-for-3 on extra point kicks. Peter Grytdahl caught a two-point conversion pass.

Bryceton Butkiewicz, with 70 yards rushing, had three TDs and three conversion runs for the Rebels. Thomas Hansen, with 99 yards rushing, had MLWR's other touchdown with Dilon Louzek adding the conversion run.

Hermantown had 12 first downs as compared to eight for the Rebels. MLWR had only one penalty while the Hawks had eight penalties. The Hawks lost one fumble while the Rebels had two turnovers on pass interceptions, with one returned for a Hermantown score.

Louzek led the defense with seven solo tackles and four assists. Joe Weidendorf had six solos and two assists. Alex Tackett had four solos and four assists. Luke Branson had four tackles and two assists. Chet Morgan had three solos and one assist. Craig Nelson had a fumble recovery.

The Rebels received and went on an 8-play 76-yard drive that culminated with Butkiewicz taking a pass from Connor Radel and racing 56 yards for a TD. Butkiewicz walked in through the left middle for 8-0 at 7:07.

The Hawks marched down the field, but that drive fizzled as Bukiewicz caused a fumble that was recovered by Nelson on the two yard line at 4:37.

Hermantown would soon answer on a punt returned 30 yards by Madison. Madison tossed a conversion pass to Grytdahl for 8-8 at 3:00.

The Rebels were unable to sustain a drive and were forced to punt.

Following a run, a penalty and a couple of runs, Hermantown was able to move to within striking distance to the 11 as the quarter closed at 8-8.

Two plays later, the Hawks were able to finish off the six-play 53-yard drive with a pitch right to Madison for the 11-yard touchdown. McShane's kick was high and true for 15-8 at 11:15.

MLWR came right back and quickly answered in a three-play 75-yard drive that ended with Hansen running the middle and cutting right and out-running two pursuers for a 56-yard TD. Louzek ran the middle and got the conversion to put the Rebels up 16-15 at 9:55.

Hermantown quickly answered on a three-play 51-yard drive that ended with Lindberg taking it in from 10 yards out and Madison running right for 23-16 at 9:04.

The Rebels turned the ball over on a pass interception that was returned to the 22 at 7:36.

MLWR's defense would step up and make a huge stop on a 4th-and-1 play, but the offense went three-and-out.

Hermantown put together a six-play drive with Comstock scoring on a five-yard TD and Bostrom getting the conversion on a QB sneak for 31-16 with 34 seconds remaining in the first half.

The Hawks scored on a stunning interception as Madison picked off a halfback pass and loped 24 yards for a TD. Bostrom ran the conversion for 39-16 at 3.2.

It took the Hawks very little time to post another score as Madison, with three blockers out in front, ran 71 yards to paydirt. McShane added the boot for 46-16 at 11:41.

The Rebels worked hard to answer on an 11-play drive with Butkiewicz using extra effort to break tackles and to reach the ball over the goal line for a 10- yard TD run. Butkiewicz got the call and converted in the middle for 46-24 at 7:13.

The Hawks kept rolling and put together a 56-yard six-play drive that ended with Madison going right and scoring on a 25-yard run. Bostrom's keeper failed, but the Hawks had soared to a 52-24 lead at 5:11.

MLWR was unable to sustain a drive.

Hermantown was able to score again with a five-play drive that ended with Lindberg getting across in the middle from a yard out and McShane adding the kick for 59-24 at 9:23.

Butkiewicz took the kickoff down the right side and sprinted for an 88-yard TD. Butkiewicz added the two-point for 59-32 at 9:09.

Each team had a possession to finish the game, but there was no further scoring.


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